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When talking about rehabilitation, it is possible that you automatically associate this treatment with that performed by many drug addicts who are looking to restore physical and mental balance. However, the set of techniques involved in this procedure serves several purposes.
This is the case of patients recovering from the sequelae of COVID-19. After all, the health problems caused affect the individual’s daily life, and may bring limitations at work and in personal life. Thus, rehabilitation helps to ”rescue” the patient, providing greater autonomy, disease control and quality of life.
Do you want to understand more about what rehabilitation is, what are the main types, who is it indicated for and other relevant information? Read on!
What is rehabilitation?
This concept refers to a therapeutic treatment that involves a multidisciplinary team, formed by nutritionists, psychologists, physiotherapists, nurses, etc. This service focuses on helping people recover their physical and mental health, having full physical, sensorial, intellectual, psychological and social functionalities.
In other words, it is as if the patient could be ”rescued”, within the limitations of each one, with rehabilitation. For this, the process involves:
- identify problems and needs in the patient;
- relate what was identified to modifiable factors;
- select the appropriate measures to treat the patient;
- plan and coordinate therapeutic interventions;
- evaluate the effects.
Who is rehabilitation for?
This therapeutic treatment is intended for people who are at risk of suffering — requiring preventive medicine intervention — or who have a health problem. This is the case of those who have suffered a stroke (Cerebral Vascular Accident): in some cases, it can lead to death or leave serious sequelae.
That’s what happened to singer Arlindo Cruz, who had limited speech and movement. Now, he undergoes rehabilitation treatment focused on motor recovery. This intervention could also be indicated for those who had a heart attack, stayed in bed for a period or suffered a spinal cord injury.
Another example is former BBB Rodrigo Mussi, who underwent rehabilitation to encourage physical and cognitive recovery after suffering a serious car accident.
In addition, older people are more likely to suffer falls or fractures and to develop some diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and arthritis. In such cases, rehabilitation may be essential. The same logic applies to those who suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
Rehabilitation is also recommended if any pathology compromises the respiratory system, such as bronchial asthma, pulmonary hypertension, cystic fibrosis, etc.
How can it be used to treat the sequelae of COVID-19?
Rehabilitation can be intended for post-COVID patients, aiming to return quality of life. After all, this pathology can have several consequences in some cases, especially for those who have not taken the vaccine.
Among the sequelae, we can mention muscle weakness, fatigue, psychological shock, drop in oxygen circulation — even with little effort — etc. Therapeutic treatment involves physical exercises (such as stretching, warm-up and aerobics) and breathing exercises, educational activities and emotional therapies. As a result, many start to do routine activities, such as showering and getting out of bed, without getting tired.
Before starting treatment, the patient needs to undergo an evaluation of his/her history by a multidisciplinary team. Afterwards, it is possible to set up a plan to recover the individual’s functionalities.
What are the types of rehabilitation?
There are several types of rehabilitation, as it is aimed at any type of assistance necessary for a patient to regain functionality. So, to facilitate your understanding, know that this treatment can be classified according to its complexity.
Within the highly complex rehabilitation, we can find:
- neurological rehabilitation — aimed at stabilizing the sequelae of neurological diseases caused by stroke, cerebral palsy, etc.;
- cardiopulmonary rehabilitation—focused on improving the capacity of the heart;
- cancer rehabilitation — is part of cancer treatment, aimed at increasing the patient’s quality of life and autonomy;
- neuropsychological rehabilitation — help in the treatment of cognitive (memory, attention, etc.) and behavioral changes caused by brain dysfunctions;
- speech therapy service — designed to rehabilitate several areas, such as language, hearing, voice, swallowing and balance or vestibular disorders;
- rehabilitation of the pelvic floor — focused on greater support for internal organs, such as the uterus, bladder and rectum, being intended for those suffering from urinary incontinence, for example.
In relation to low complexity practices, they are:
- orthopedic rehabilitation — aimed at treating chronic or traumatic dysfunctions, such as osteoarthritis and tendonitis;
- sports rehabilitation — physiotherapy aimed at treating osteoarticular pain and preparing for physical activity, in addition to promoting health and healthy aging;
- cardiovascular rehabilitation — for low-risk patients who need to be supervised by physical educators or physiotherapists while exercising;
- Telerehabilitation — telehealth physiotherapy, which involves communication technologies for remote rehabilitation, useful even for patients who are recovering from COVID-19.
As we have seen, rehabilitation is important because it contributes to greater patient autonomy, depending on the severity of each case. This is a way to enhance physical, sensory, intellectual, psychological and social functionalities.
Successful rehabilitation treatment depends on the patient’s motivation and their support network, such as friends and family. This is the case of drug addicts, who receive help to avoid relapses, in addition to recovering physically, mentally and spiritually.
So, did you answer your main questions about rehabilitation? Now, take the opportunity to check out another article on our blog and understand the importance of a quality hospital structure to care for patients!
Technical review: Alexandre R. Marra, researcher at the Instituto Israelita de Ensino e Pesquisa Albert Einstein (IIEP) and permanent professor at the Graduate Program in Health Sciences at the Faculdade Israelita de Ciências da Saúde Albert Einstein (FICSAE).